Lake Martin Mini Mall

Recent renovations at Lake Martin Mini Mall include more space for everything a lake house needs.

Lake Martin Mini Mall Renovations

Lake Martin Mini Mall in Eclectic, which has been open for more than five years, held a grand opening reception last month. Co-owner Jason Lett said they knocked down a back wall for more room, repainted the store and completed other minor renovations over the course of two months.

During the reception, the store had door prizes, served food and had a keyboard player perform while visitors attended after hours. Lett said the store wanted to do a grand opening since it never had one when he and his brother, Scott, bought the store.

“When we bought the store five and a half years ago, we never had a grand opening,” Lett said. “We kind of transitioned into owning the store. We decided this would be a good time (for a reception).”

Lett said they did renovations after the store was closed and on slow days. Lett said the grand opening was a way to show customer appreciation.

“We’ve had a lot of response from the people in the community with social media and otherwise who said they were glad we’re doing something, and we’re glad they’re coming out,” Lett said. “We appreciate our customers. We look forward to trying to help them enjoy their lake houses or their farm homes or whatever it is so that they can enjoy their time there with their families, and we can be a small part of that.”

Lake Martin Mini Mall is located at 7995 Kowaliga Rd. in Eclectic. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Concrete Means Business

A sure sign of growth, a new concrete plant opened on the southeastern side of the lake. Keel-Crete Ready Mix opened in February to service residential and commercial concrete needs in the area.

“Contractors were having a hard time getting concrete when they needed it, so we felt like there was a need in this area,” said Billy Ogletree, who handles sales for the company.

With new and expanding developments going in around the lake this year – including the new LakeTown neighborhood at Talisi Cove and new projects in StillWaters – the time was right to locate in the area, Ogletree said.

The plant supports nine employees and has a production capacity of 80 to 100 cubic yards per hour. The crew can supply product anywhere around Lake Martin with six trucks in operation. In addition, Keel-Crete can supply rock, stone, fill and sand for driveway base and other construction needs.

“Much of what we’re doing now is in the Tallassee and Dadeville areas around the the lake. Our main focus is to provide service in the local area for residential and commercial construction projects,” he said. “There’s a lot of residential subdivisions and construction here right now.”

Keel-Crete Ready Mix is owned by Mike Keel and Pate Keel. Mike lives at the lake, and Pate is in Auburn.

For more information, call 256-373-3476 or email hannal@keelcretereadymix.com.

34 Market

As of March 26, neighbors off county Road 34 have a place to buy fresh local products. 34 Market opened its doors inside Table 34, a casual and family-style American restaurant, to offer fresh produce, meats and grocery items to shoppers on the southeastern shores of Lake Martin. 

 “We sell as much local as is available,” said Table 34 owner Don Arthur.

34 Market offers fresh produce goods to people in the communities around county Road 34, StillWaters Highway and even state Route 50, Arthur explained. 

Local is better because it is fresher, said Arthur. Among the fresh produce available, shoppers can find steak, chicken and fresh seafood, some products made in-house, including salad dressings and sauces, as well as other local favorites, such as Chimney Rock hot sauce. 

 “There is nowhere on this side of the lake that is convenient for the people that live here,” Arthur said.

It was his wife, Jessica Arthur, who wanted somewhere to shop for fresh products in the area ever since they moved there three and a half years ago. 

After a successful experience with the restaurant Table 34, this felt like the right moment to take the next step and open 34 Market, explained Arthur. In the few weeks that the market has been open, the reception has been very positive among people in the area, he said.

“They are all over Facebook telling us how great it is,” said Arthur. 

34 Market is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is located inside Table 34 at 8276 county Road 34, and the market can be reached at 256-307-1647. 

Lil Smokey’s BBQ

Eric Moore started barbecuing as a hobby, but this spring, he began to share his passion for cooking with the Lake Martin world. 

Located at 8874 state Route 49, Moore opened his food truck, Lil Smokey’s BBQ, to do what he loves the most. 

 “Lil Smokey’s BBQ is just me and my passion for cooking and ’cueing,” said Moore, the owner and founder. Moore is a former aerospace engineer who started cooking at family gatherings and also for fundraising and church events. 

 “People asked why wasn’t I selling it,” said Moore.

That is what made him think about the idea of opening his own barbeque business. Being an engineer and a barbeque lover, he even built a few barbecue grills himself.

“And I kind of went from there,” Moore explained.

In September of 2017, he competed at the BBQ Cook-Off contest during the Americanism Football Classic Weekend that took place at Miles College in Birmingham.

“I took it very seriously,” said Moore, who took first place in ribs and first place in chicken. 

Lil Smokey’s BBQ’s biggest and best seller is the pulled pork, he said. Other popular items on the menu include ribs, pork nachos, loaded potatoes and an array of menu for barbecue, Moore said. 

On April 27,Moore celebrated one year of business. Now Lil Smokey’s BBQ is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. People can find Lil Smokey’s BBQ on Facebook and Instagram at @lilsmokeysbbq. 

More Boat Storage

Boaters will find more boat storage options at Lake Martin this season, as facilities went up on almost every major thoroughfare in all areas of the lake over the winter.

Lakeside Marina added 40 storage units to the storage facility going up the hill on the way to the lake on county Road 34, said owner Donny McDaniel.

In addition, Lakeside expanded its marina at Blue Creek, adding 10,000 square feet of showroom floor space and a number of buildings for marine service. Floating docks also were installed for the company’s rental boats.

On state Route 63 before the Wind Creek State Park turn-off, 63 Boat & RV storage opened with pull-through stalls, as well as garage units.